A bizarre succulent is one that suggests something it's not in an eerie way: a cancerous growth, reptile, bug or body part. When you take a second look and ponder what on earth it is, you experience a deliciously unsettling ah-ha (or bwa-ha-ha) moment.
Of course, what's bizarre is in the eye of the beholder. The gallery below presents my own subjective choices. I spotted the specimens shown here at shows and sales of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America; in collector's gardens and greenhouses; and at succulent specialty nurseries.
Bizarre Succulents Gallery
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Collectors know where to find rare succulents: at shows hosted by Cactus and Succulent Society affiliate clubs. Attend one near you to see unusual plants grown and displayed perfectly; blue-ribbon winners; reasonably priced plants not found in nurseries; growers and experts; and one-of-a-kind, artist-designed pots. I like to pick out a collectible art pot and…
Rich Zeh has an Aladdin’s trove of cacti and succulents. “I’m pretty much maxed out on space,” he says of his one-acre garden and greenhouse in Paradise Valley (Phoenix) Arizona.
Every year as Halloween approaches, I recall my visit to Professor Mordant’s remote island to tour his collection of sea-sand succulents. The island was rumored to be an eerie, inhospitable place—a volcanic outcropping devoid of vegetation, nothing like the mainland resort where I and other garden photojournalists had been sunning ourselves in style. I alone…
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